Mother says she was forced to leave Golden Corral for wearing crop top
A woman who was kicked out of a Golden Corral in Erie, Pennsylvania, over Memorial Day weekend for wearing a crop top is speaking out about the incident, which she considers body shaming.
Sueretta Emke, of Fredonia, New York, was at the fast food restaurant on May 26 to celebrate her son's birthday with her husband, her best friend and her friend's children when she says she was approached by a Golden Corral manager and asked to cover up, as she was "dressed too provocatively."
"Another customer had complained so I needed to put something else on or leave," Emke wrote in a now-viral Facebook post.
The mom of one said she tried to explain that they were about an hour away from home and she didn't have extra clothing to change into, but the manager wouldn't budge or clarify exactly what was wrong with her outfit.
"He never would tell me exactly what I was showing too much of," she wrote. "When I asked ... he would respond that it wasnt [sic] his place to say."
Emke said she and her group were eventually forced to leave the restaurant, even though Golden Corral does not have an established dress code, which she later confirmed with management, Yahoo Lifestyle reports.
She believes the only motivation behind the incident was her body type.
"I have seen people in there wearing less and nothing is said to them," Emke, who wears a size 16, wrote. "I really do believe something was said to me because im [sic] not thin so it's not considered sexy."
Emke went on to describe how the ordeal took a serious toll on her self esteem.
"I've never owned a crop top before and I was nervous at first about wearing it but my husband loved the way it looked on me and encouraged me to wear," she continued. "I really felt cute in it and now I never wanna wear that shirt again."
In a statement to TODAY, a Golden Corral spokesperson wrote: "People know and love us for the family dining experience we offer and the way we make guests feel at home, but it appears we didn’t meet the mark in this situation. While we don’t offer specific guideline on attire, we think the decision made seems out of touch."
The representative added that the company was "grateful" the issue was brought to its attention "because it represents an education opportunity for our restaurants and a chance to make amends with a guest we disappointed."
Emke told the outlet she is glad that her negative experience could enact change, adding that she sincerely hopes "it never happens again."